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EPA reaches settlement with KB Home over Clean Water Act violations

Release Date: 9/29/2004
Contact Information: Laura Gentile ( - 415/947-4227 (desk) or 415/760-9161 (cell)

Deal on wetlands restoration at Red Rock Canyon NCA clears way for housing construction

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it has reached a settlement with KB Home two weeks after the EPA ordered the company to cease work at the Huntington subdivision construction site.

KB Home agreed to spend at least $193,000 on wetlands restoration projects in the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Projects include fencing Calico and Ash Springs, expanding the riparian enclosure at Wheeler Camp Spring, and removing Tamarisk and other invasive weeds at selected springs.

Last April, the EPA learned that KB Home graded the 160-acre site west of Fort Apache Road in southwestern Las Vegas without the required federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and filled tributaries leading to the Las Vegas Wash and Lake Mead.

"Through the years, the waterways of the Las Vegas Valley have been severely altered and impaired," said Alexis Strauss, director of the EPA's Water Division for the Pacific Southwest region. "We are pleased the wetlands within the Red Rock Canyon NCA will be restored and permanently protected to help offset the unfortunate loss of aquatic resources at the Huntington subdivision."

Under the Clean Water Act, a developer must first get a permit before discharging dredged or fill material into regulated waterways.

In their natural state, desert washes can provide many benefits including accommodation of flood waters, maintenance of water quality, recharge of groundwater, and support of fish and wildlife populations. Once damaged, these environments are difficult to restore and the benefits are often permanently lost.